March 31 Feature Friday


Middle Grade Fantasy Recommendations


4th Grade Student Feature Friday




Reader's Response...Your Way


Raise your hand if you are overwhelmed by all things TpT, Pinterest, etc....

At the beginning of each year, I make some pretty grandiose plans regarding reading. They usually require daily upkeep, notebooks, forms, and on and on. I have every intention of completing said plans, but come October, I start slipping and then routines are broken and time is gone and I'm left feeling guilty for abandoning my plan. The truth is, I overwhelm myself with trying to have the perfect experiences for my kiddos, and the contributing factor to my failure is....

I'm choosing what works for someone else in their classroom, with their students, not mine. 

With that said, I LOVE getting ideas from teachers, I mean HELLO, that's what feeds my creativity and always has me saying, " WOW, why didn't I think of that, GENIUS!"

 BUT I need to consider WHAT fits me personally, and my style of teaching.

I love technology, I don't know how I would function without it. I'd rather type my grocery list than write it, so for me, I need to find a way that I can be successful. MY top priority is being able to connect and provide feedback to my students.  When they wrote in notebooks, or on separate paper, I was immediately turned off , which led to the inconsistency and abandonment issue.

With reading responses, I have one goal: A student is able to give me the GIST of what they read and show reflection/connection/reaction to their book.

I want to learn about their book from them, and through their eyes. I also want to see them evolve from each response, and allow them to celebrate their constant growth.  

So I thought about a way of monitoring that works FOR ME, and created a very simple two column,multi-row table on Google Drive and every day my students read and respond. They log the date and then input their response.

This does a couple of things for me:

1. It is all in one place and I can access and comment anytime, from anywhere, and no lugging around papers. 

2. It lets me quickly monitor their growth.

3. We can print at anytime and place in a portfolio.

4. They can share with friends, teachers, administrators, parents, etc. and get feedback, or just show off!

5. They can access from anywhere outside of school if they have the technology. I have some kiddos respond over the weekend with what they read or when they read at home during the week.

I also don't restrict myself, or my students to a set routine. I mix it up depending on the time I have that day, or the current mood of the classroom. I HATE to take away the actual reading time to focus on the response, so I do not get hung up on only one method. Some days, we partner up and respond verbally, other days we may do a Socratic seminar.

My main point of this post is to say:

When making choices about what you do in your classroom, take time to think about what pairs well with your style, and if something doesn't work- scrap it, tweak it, bury it,  and say good riddance!

Learning from someone doesn't mean becoming them. Stay true to you, because that is the only way you will both endure and enjoy the journey.

Let's Talk...

  • What have you tweaked in your classroom that has made a difference? 
  • What do you dread doing, and desperately want to find a better method for?
  • How do you do reader's responses?  



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